THE TEST OF THE AVATAR
John A. Grant
Sydney Airport is about six miles south of Sydney Harbour and Beacon Hill is about twelve miles north of it. I had collected some of the party's baggage at the airport and was now driving to Beacon Hill alone. I had first heard of Meher Baba about two years before this time and now I had seen him, he had touched me, and very soon we would be together for a few days. I had been interested in finding a living Spiritual Master for about ten years. The thought had sometimes crossed my mind — how does one tell the difference between a genuine Spiritual Master and a fake? I had come to the conclusion that one would have to use one's own judgement when the time came. Now, for me, that time had come.
Now after having met a Spiritual Master I could not help wondering if he was genuine or not. To know this was very important to me, because sooner or later I would have to pledge obedience to him. And in doing so I would be risking my life, because the degree of obedience required is in the order of Abraham's obedience to God as described in the BIBLE. Meher Baba did not claim to be just a Seventh Plane Master, but claimed to be the Avatar or Christ of the Age. The only Avatar or Christ that I had even a moderate amount of knowledge about was Jesus the Christ. So I used Jesus as a yard stick to gauge the height of Meher Baba.
I thought that if Baba was Jesus, he would know what I was thinking. I had gathered this from the Bible, from some of the occurrences described in the New Testament. Meher Baba had said in one of his discourses that it is quite in order for an aspirant to test the Master. So I thought, "What are the attributes of God?" I decided that they were TRUTH and LOVE. I also decided to find out if Baba knew what I was thinking.
At that very moment I was at the end of Clarence Street nearing the southern approach of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Just then, I was surprised to see Meher Baba sitting in a car which was about thirty feet ahead of me, in the lane next to mine, with no other cars between us. This was the first time I had sighted him since leaving the airport. Now here was my opportunity to see if he knew what I was thinking.
I thought, "Meher Baba is TRUTH!"
Baba partly turned around, looked directly at me and gave me his sign of perfection, by forming a circle with the index finger and thumb of his right hand. I was surprised that he had apparently immediately responded to my thought. However it may have been a coincidence I told myself. Maybe someone else in the car had seen me, mentioned it to him, and he was just waving. A moment later he had his back to me again and was looking ahead.
I tried once more. I thought, "Meher Baba is LOVE!"
The same thing happened again. Baba partly turned around and gave me his sign of perfection. I received quite a shock this time, because he seemed to be acknowledging my thoughts immediately I had them. I still thought that it could be a coincidence, but this was becoming far less likely now, because each response was so precisely on cue. I was intrigued and my heart started to beat faster. Baba had resumed his normal sitting position and was looking ahead. I braced myself, took a tighter grip on the steering wheel and then with full concentration I thought:
"Meher Baba is GOD!"
Baba completely turned around, looked directly at me and emphatically gave me the sign of perfection, with his index finger and thumb forming a circle.
I was stunned. A most incredible thing had just happened. He had taken up my silent challenge and had silently passed all the test that I had given him. We weren't even in the same room or the same car; he was within my sight, but most of the time he was not looking at me. In one way it didn't seem possible, but then if he was the Avatar or Christ as he claimed to be, anything was possible.
PRACTICAL SPIRITUALITY, pp. 21-22
1985 © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust